Mission Opportunity of All History!
In a way, it is a Crisis, a Crisis for Missions ...
by Ralph D. Winter
Dear reader of Mission Frontiers:
A year ago we said that there were many parallels to today. We have spelled them out over the months.
Now we have a flood of new information which could easily stand your hair on end. Two doctoral candidates, Todd Johnson and Brad Cronbaugh (with others helping as well) have churned through the literature of a 100 years ago to discover a shower of moving quotations and insights about the same, most-profound question of the ages÷when will we be finished with what God has asked us to do, and when will He be finished with what He wants to do with us?
Todd Johnson has just finished a very rough pre-publication draft of some of their material.
We have pled with him to allow us to rush it into your hands. Why? Of immense importance is what happens in your prayer life, and in the hearts of many others around the world in the next few weeks leading up to the Global Consultation on World Evangelization by AD 2000 and Beyond, January 5-8, Singapore. Again, why? Because that meeting of thinkers and doers from all over the world will be directly related to the global machinery in mission.
These are not the opinion makers, the ecclesiastical leaders, the theologians, who will meet in July in Manila÷that is, the "Congressmen" of the church world. No, the January meeting is more a meeting of the "Generals"÷those who are commandingthings in today's amazing international mission world. Naturally, everything depends on the "vote" of the "Congressmen" when they meet in Manila. But a potent chunk of homework about global possibilities by the year 2000 will brought into view in January, when the "Generals" meet in Singapore. What happens there will (or will not) then undergird mightily world opinion in and through the great gathering in Manila in July '89. That's only NINE months away!
However, dear friend, read and rejoice and weep your way through this amazing, exciting, and yet harrowing series of events a century ago. Remember the "Kadesh Bamea" experience when Caleb and Joshua said it could be done and the majority refused to try (Num 13,14). The year 1888 was a Kadesh Bar-nea for the Western World.
Think of it, (remembering Wang's statement last year) the Appeal To Disciples Everywhere exploded into view in the fall of 1885. It proposed a world level meeting in 1888. But note: world opinion and background studies were not adequately mobilized .. .and the greatest global mission meeting of all prior history (London, 1888) faintheartedly backed away from the challenge.
We face an equivalent situation today. Thomas Wang's appeal. By the Year 2000, has resulted in the January 5-8 Global Consultation. The following pages spell out the blow-by-blow scenario of the rise and fall of a vision between 1885 and 1892. Will we enter into the Land this time? All history may hinge on what we do now. The following pages are as up to date as Numbers 13 and 14!
Don't fall behind now!
Ralph D. Winter